Chelsea in talks with 40-year-old English manager

Chelsea have held talks with Frank Lampard over the chance of the club hero succeeding Maurizio Sarri, who masterminded Chelsea’s Europa League glory and secured Champions League football but is set to return to Italy after ten turbulent months in west London.

Max Allegri, who Maurizio Sarri will replace in Turin, was the early favourite to inherit the Stamford Bridge dugout and was even understood to be taking English lessons ahead of a move to the Blues.

The 51-year-old manager, however, is likely to undertake a sabbatical forcing the Premier League giants to pursue alternative options. Rafael Benitez was linked with a return to the Bridge earlier this week, while Ajax’s Erik ten Hag is also understood to be under consideration.

Watford’s head coach Javi Gracia is another reported candidate, but Frank Lampard has leapt to the front of the queue having held preliminary talks with the Chelsea board.

The Europa League winners are understood to hold reservations over the former midfielder’s suitability given his lack of managerial experience with just one year at Derby under his belt.

The Englishman narrowly missed out on promotion after leading an exciting young Derby County side to the play-off final where they lost narrowly to an Aston Villa coached by John Terry.

‘It’s been a bit of an obvious link all season. If I say it is maybe because of where we’re at in the final, and we’re being talked about, and we’ve had a good year, I’ve got two years left on my contract here,’ said Frank Lampard ahead of Derby’s Wembley defeat.’